The concept of “counseling” encompasses diverse meanings, creating potential confusion. The Concise Oxford Dictionary provides conflicting definitions, with one emphasizing advice on social or personal issues and the other highlighting assistance by trained professionals for personal, social, or psychological problems.
Career counseling, a specialized branch, aids individuals in selecting the most suitable career path based on their education and skills. It involves both qualitative and quantitative assessments to identify available career options.
Individuals can seek career counseling at various life stages, including before or after college. Notably, career counseling is increasingly integrated into school systems, with the CBSE offering an online portal for students in Classes 9 to 12.
Gaurav Sachdeva Founder Career2Sucess emphasizes the dynamic nature of children, highlighting their continuous evolution and transformation. Each child’s uniqueness requires personalized approaches to career decisions.
Key aspects covered in career counseling include assisting children in deciding on a career field, providing emotional and mental counseling, offering a realistic perspective, guiding them in choosing an academic stream, presenting alternative options, and breaking gender stereotypes.
The primary objective of career counseling is to understand why students want to pursue a particular course. Addressing potential influences like peer or parental pressure, counselors aim to guide students toward paths aligned with their genuine interests.
Parents, in some cases, impose specific career choices on their children despite the child’s lack of interest. Sunanda Rao Career Coach emphasizes the importance of making parents aware of their child’s preferences, citing an example where intervention led to a successful shift from medicine to law.
Reflective exercises and one-on-one sessions are integral to the counseling process. Students are encouraged to select subjects they enjoy, and counselors provide insights into the reality of those fields. Additionally, alternative fields related to students’ interests are suggested.
Job shadowing, involving spending time with professionals in a chosen field, is practiced to provide students with firsthand experience and a deeper understanding of their preferred careers.
Ms Rao underscores three crucial factors during counseling sessions: livelihood, job satisfaction, and a calling for one’s existence. Clear understanding of these factors enables students to make informed decisions about their future careers.
Overcoming gender stereotypes in career choices is a significant focus. Chitra Guru Career Counsellor emphasizes that no career is limited to a specific gender, encouraging students to pursue their aspirations irrespective of societal norms.
A key piece of advice for students is to love what they do and have unconditional self-awareness. Understanding one’s motivations and desires ensures a more fulfilling and meaningful career choice.
In conclusion, school-based career counseling serves as a valuable resource in guiding students toward optimal career choices, fostering individuality, and challenging traditional gender norms in career paths.